Armature Project

Government Center, 1975

In this Armature proposal for a government center as a work of public art in the US Southwest region, an elliptical plan forms a central outdoor space for public gatherings and tourism. Massive walls of stained concrete with ceramic and other waterproof materials are designed by artists and citizens working under the direction of artists and architects. Embedded on the surfaces are historic memorabilia of Southwest rock formations and native ruins.

This Armature scales down the architecture of a large government complex by including clusters that circle the Armature housing galleries, restaurants, offices and ceremonial plaza. Metaphors of regional landforms layered with allusions to pertinent historical architecture is gradually encrusted with citizens’ arts and crafts. Trees, fountains and pools are available to the public as is outdoor space for gatherings and exhibitions. In contrast to the “earthy” mass of the core are large glazed openings, which permit people to see spaces within.